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David Low
23 Feb, 2008

PALGN's scoring system explained

PALGN Feature | A guide to how PALGN approaches scoring.
Here at PALGN we pride ourselves on being tough but fair in our reviews. We make an effort to tell the reader everything they need to know, and to be balanced and as unbiased as possible in our approach to every game in every genre on every platform.

As for our critical philosophy, we place a high emphasis on originality, and games that don't do anything new will not receive the top marks.



The Scores

01
These scores are reserved for games which have low production values and are in various states of brokenness. If you press right on the controller and it causes the character to move left, that sort of thing. But if a game works, and is generally playable, it should not score this low. It's highly unlikely a knowledgeable gamer would ever buy a game that would score this low.

2
Similar to the above, but for slightly less broken games. Games which feature sluggish controls, a poor camera system and which also suck in other ways. These scores can also be used for games which have very little content for the price, and are therefore terrible value.


A game in this range will be playable, and for a fan of the genre there may be some possible fun that can be wrung from it. But it will be semi-broken, ugly, far too short, overly simplistic, or all of the above.

45
A game that almost works, and may have potential, but all is wasted by poor execution. To get this score, a game should have at least one or two redeeming features, and may be some cheap fun if bought at a bargain price.

6
To receive these scores, a game will be competent, have nothing major broken, but will be unimaginative, too short, simplistic, ugly, or technically unambitious. These are our base scores for your average semi-competent licenced game.

7
Above average. Here we're getting into games that you may actually want to play even if they're not from your preferred genre. Games of these scores or above would be described as 'good' by most gamers. Most people should be able to enjoy this title to some degree if they like the gameplay type or property at all.

8
Well above average. Games of these scores or above would be described as 'great' by most gamers. Games that are so good it will be worth going back to play them years later. They will only be brought down by a few minor flaws, or one slightly larger flaw.

9
A potential 'game of the year', and a game so good it should be fun for anyone to whom the concept appeals. Graphics, control, sound, presentation and gameplay must all be outstanding for a game to score this high. The only thing holding it back must be that it lacks that 'creative spark' to bring it to the next level of greatness, or it could be a game that has that spark, but is brought down by a few minor technical or artistic flaws.


The best of the best, a must buy title for almost all gamers. State of the art technically, and an artistic marvel. Creative gameplay mechanics, and level design beyond reproach. A game guaranteed to be shortlisted for 'game of the year'.

10
The absolute best. A score only one or two games a generation will receive.


You can also read the list of our all time highest and lowest scored games.

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30 Comments
6 years ago
I don't see many changes...

Can someone point them out to my ignorant eyes?
6 years ago
I don't think there are any, they're simply reiterating the point system that's been in place for those who don't go to the effort of scouring the site in order to find said information.
6 years ago
I find numerical point score fairly pointless imo. I'd rather a play/don't play ratings system myself heh. Too many people pay attention to the final score and not the review text.
6 years ago
Aftershock wrote
I don't see many changes...

Can someone point them out to my ignorant eyes?
Quote
We've actually been running with this scoring system since the current editor took over last August, but we thought it was time to bring it to our reader's attention again.
icon_razz.gif
6 years ago
Quote
9.5: The best of the best, a must buy title for almost all gamers.
I find it amusing that I don't own any of the 9.5 and above titles and that I'm unlikely to ever buy the current 10/10 titles either icon_razz.gif

Just proves how subjective scores really are icon_wink.gif
6 years ago
^ No. It just proves how terrible your taste in games is.

I'd insert the emotion with the sticky out tongue here, but I hate that guy.
6 years ago
Similar to Beepos, I don't believe that an /10 scoring system is the best way to rate games. I can appreciate that a play/not play system won't always work, however I don't see a need for scoring to venture above an /5 system. That's a similar rating scheme to what most other entertainment has such as movies and books. It seems like the only reason an /10 or /100 system is in place is to compare games and systems and fit in with gamerankings and metacritic.
6 years ago
Qbert wrote
Similar to Beepos, I don't believe that an /10 scoring system is the best way to rate games. I can appreciate that a play/not play system won't always work, however I don't see a need for scoring to venture above an /5 system. That's a similar rating scheme to what most other entertainment has such as movies and books. It seems like the only reason an /10 or /100 system is in place is to compare games and systems and fit in with gamerankings and metacritic.
But most "out of 5" systems also use half points, almost every movie critic will use a 10 point systems out of 5, for example: "I gave this movie 3 & 1/2 stars". As long as you can understand it, what's the difference?

I also tend not to pay attention to most movie critic scores. It's nice to know where they rank it, but I rarely let it effect my decision on weather I'll watch the movie.

I'd prefer a scoring system over a play or not play thing though. A not-play may turn me off a game I would have liked if it was for one of my favourite game types. On the other hand a 6 may make me read thought the review to see where the author thought it dropped 4 points of it's potential and if I don't place the same value on those failures then I'd consider getting it anyway.

The real problem with the 10 point scale is that people have started to dismiss anything that ranks lower than a 7.5, or worse, they start to bash authors that rank games they like if they score lower than 7.5, which I really don't understand, if you've played the game, why are you reading the review? Get a life, go play another game.

As for not having any score system at all, well, I just don't get that. The whole "reviews shouldn't have scores" mantra seems to have grown out of some smart-ass remarks from Penny Arcade, but the whole point of a "review" is to evaluate the worth of a game. If you don't want that then read previews and press releases and make up your own mind, but harping on about review scores is just pointless in and of itself. Reviews are supposed to be judgemental, they're supposed to evaluate and rank an item's worth. Seems like scoring systems and reviews would go hand-in-hand, but maybe that's just me.
6 years ago
Quote
The real problem with the 10 point scale is that people have started to dismiss anything that ranks lower than a 7.5, or worse, they start to bash authors that rank games they like if they score lower than 7.5.
I blame a certain australian gaming publication for that, i mean is there any games they don't like. Well i don't totally blame them, but 80 seems like a bad score from them as not many games get under it (only the ones with a one column review)
6 years ago
Cameron wrote
Stuff
Wait, who the hell is this guy?

Welcome and stuff i guess, did i miss an announcement??

It really irks me when palgn gets new staff members on board and don't properly introduce them to the community.This guy and Kimberly Ellis stand out in particular.

I can't fault palgn on very much but this setup of having people randomly appear reviewing games, doing articles etc etc when we don't know them from a bar of soap seems pretty sloppy.

'Hey, i'm just supposed to trust this review when i know zip about the reviewer, their taste in games or their experience in the industry'

/constructive criticism
6 years ago
One of the issues with scores is that you seriously need them for traffic. Almost every site that ever tried going score-less had to go back because they lost traffic. People like scores, so we've tried to create a responsible system.

Jibbs wrote
Wait, who the hell is this guy?
Cameron has been hired as a developer to work on the site's back-end, not as a writer.
6 years ago
Charly wrote
^ No. It just proves how terrible your taste in games is.

I'd insert the emotion with the sticky out tongue here, but I hate that guy.
I give this post a 9.5/10.

If it were up to me, score values would be scrapped altogether or at least be given less prominence. Too often do people simply make judgments based on that numerical value alone without even bothering to read the text. Y'know, the bit with all the reasoning and criticisms, the bit that actually matters.

An ideal (yet fanciful) situation would be a system that had the reader have to answer questions based off the review to get to the number score. If it ever got to that point, that number would be rendered obsolete anyway seeing as the reader would have all the information they needed after having actually read the review.

Having a number is nice and makes things simple but they only thing they seem good for nowadays is fueling the fanboy fires.
6 years ago
Well, yeah, the point still stands though.He's part of the Palgn team and it's more of a courtesy thing then anything else to get to know the gang.It's one of palgn's strong points, having such close knit community which INCLUDES the staff taking more then a cursory interest in the forums.

You know what i'm getting at.I know u are castlevania crazy.I know Brendan is a hermit who lives in a cave and plays super mario kart all day and i know Luke always gets cranky at his local toys r us when they have a sale and he can't find anything decent.I just feel a heads up is in order when there is another crew member on board.
6 years ago
The highest-rated list just reminds me of how underrated the GCN really was. I hopped on board the GCN train when RE4 came out (talk about newskool eh?). I'd always been led to believe that the GCN was the weakest console out of that particular generation (Xbox, PS2, GCN). How wrong that assumption was - RE4 would have to be the single greatest gaming experience I've ever had, the graphics and sound were AMAZING and the controls were perfect.

Then I picked up Thousand Year Door (brilliant) and Mario Kart (brilliant!). Man, what an absolutely fantastic console the GCN was.

And it was my first Nintendo console. icon_smile.gif
2 years ago
PALGN wrote
10
The absolute best. A score only one or two games a generation will receive.
I think the scoring system is broken.
2 years ago
Would you like to explain why?
2 years ago
Quote
Almost every site that ever tried going score-less had to go back because they lost traffic
Pajiba seems to be doing fine without them, though maybe movie crowds are different?
2 years ago
I have always liked the 5 point scale. You don't really need anything more than that.
2 years ago
Appel wrote
Would you like to explain why?
'A score only one or two games a generation will receive.' Makes it sound exclusive and not many games will get it. Though three games this generation have been rated 10, contrary to the description.

Another point:
PALGN wrote
As for our critical philosophy, we place a high emphasis on originality, and games that don't do anything new will not receive the top marks.
Some reviewers seem to, from my interpretation, speak out against this:
Denny wrote
I definitely agree that lack of innovation in a game should not be marked down on.
Denny wrote
I can easily say that if Uncharted 2 didn't have the artificial lengthening at the end of it, I would've dumped the big 10 on it; and that game didn't innovate in anything.
Denny wrote
Games should be rated purely in their quality of execution rather than its new 'ideas'.
Denny wrote
Stick with formula's that work IMO, and simply refine and polish up the design/structure of the game
As I said this is from my interpretation, maybe the scoring system has been changed and this page hasn't been updated (but it is still linked to from every review).
2 years ago
Yeah, but why would you trust to this guy?


Denny.
(Is actually a picture of Denny)
2 years ago
so by 'some reviewers' you mean 'Denny'

Edit
@ Appel
Isn't that just Denny's head photoshoped on some guys body?
2 years ago
The scoring system has mostly changed because we have a new editor. Unfortunately we haven't got around to updating that article which is over 3 years old now, and also, I became a writer several months after the article was in place.

And hell, I'm gonna put down the 'professional talk' for a sec and flat out say I'm a defiant son of a bitch when it comes to the scoring systems. I still stand by my comment that a 10 should go to games of pure high quality rather than innovation, and that will always be my stance on it (though high quality + innovation is bad ass).

While it isn't necessarily in line with what this article says, keep in mind reviews will always boil down to subjectivity and someone's 10 could be another person's 3. And again, the editor at the time is no longer a part of the site, and as such the scoring systems have changed over a bit, as in they are more lenient.

A 10 to me is not some kind of rare, ultra epic gem of ridiculously amazing proportions. It's just a really god damned good game that deserves praise for being god damned good.

Also to answer the question: yes, that's my head on some random losers body. Come at me, I'm a fucking ant eater.
2 years ago
holy shit I just realised this thread is like three years old.


Jesus man really?
2 years ago
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